Live the Wage starting July 24
July 23rd, 2014 1:49 PM
Today's blog is inspired by the Every Child Matters Education Fund
Join the "Live the Wage" Challenge!
July 24 marks five years since the last federal minimum wage increase - it remains stuck at $7.25 an hour. Imagine living on that.
An increased minimum wage would help many workers better support themselves and their families. More money for workers means more customers for businesses. More customers means more jobs and a stronger economy for everyone.
Don't take anyone else's word for it - here's what you can do!
WHAT: Starting this THURSDAY, JULY 24, take the "Live the Wage" Challenge!
Walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker by living on a budget of $77.00 for one week. That's how much a full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage brings home, after taxes and housing expenses.
WHY: It's hard to live on $77 per week – much less invest back into the community through purchases or even charity. By taking the Challenge and sharing your experiences, you'll highlight why raising the minimum wage can help America’s families and our economy both grow stronger.
In taking the Challenge, you may simply run out of money and go over budget. That’s OK. The Challenge is not supposed to be easy. Workers who make the minimum wage have little, if any, leeway in how they spend their money each month. The Challenge gives a glimpse into exactly what the minimum wage provides.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Join the Challenge, share your story, and contact your elected officials. Invite your friends, your neighbors, and your family to take it too. Whatever happens – good or bad – remember to share your experience every day using the hashtag #LivetheWage. By sharing your experience, you’ll help highlight the critical need to raise the minimum wage. And ask your Congressperson to take the Challenge too. We’re all in this together.
FOR MORE INFO: Visit LiveTheWage.com to find everything you need to take the "Live the Wage" Challenge.
6 Ways to Contribute to the Community
July 14th, 2014 5:10 PM
Whether it's summer break or a long weekend, get out in the community and make a difference. Contribute a few hours to improve the lives of local children, the beauty of the neighborhood, or boost a local non-profit agency's awareness. Here's how!
1. Become a reading tutor. Although classes may not be in session, schools are busy places on the weekends and over holiday breaks. Teachers and volunteers work together to give students an extra boost of confidence and skills. Inquire about becoming a reading tutor at the elementary or middle school closest to home. On the Volunteer Center's website at www.iHelpChattanooga.org, you can sign up to become a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor. After registering, you will be provided with information on how to get started as a volunteer. Or you can call the Center direct at 423-752-0316.
2. Help build a playground. Communities across the nation are working to improve the amount of green space and places for children to play. Ask the city government if there are any local playground projects in the works. Offer to lend a helping hand on a Saturday afternoon.
3. Give the cost of a coffee. Making a contribution to the community doesn't have to be in the form of an oversize check. Donations of a few dollars add up quickly and are appreciated just as much as larger gifts. Contribute the spare change in your car or at the bottom of your purse to an organization or cause in your community.
4. Spread a message. When time is sparse, use a strong voice to help spread the message for a local program or agency. Share posts on social media accounts, tell a friend, or offer to hang posters at local businesses. Contribute by creating awareness.
5. Organize a fundraiser. Add to the success of an organization by volunteering to help plan their events. Whether it's a live benefit auction, or a kid's carnival night, hours of work are needed to get everything lined up and ready. Check out our "Stuff the Bus" supply-raising campaign. With the help of volunteers, the 2013 supply drive exceeded its $50,000 goal to raise $54,000!
6. Attend a fun run. Burn a few calories and help raise money for a worthy cause by participating in a local 5K. During the warmer months, these events are plentiful and well attended. Lace up your sneakers and go do something good.
United Way is at the forefront of improving the lives of children and making communities better places to live. Get involved today!
Summer Volunteer Tips
June 26th, 2014 3:44 PM
What are you doing this summer? If it's your first year as a summer volunteer, you may have a lot to learn. A good volunteer can make a real difference in the community. To do a good job and make a great impression, follow these tips.
Always Arrive On Time (or Early)
When you volunteer, other people depend on you. If you're late, it could be detrimental to everyone's day. Always arrive early or on-time for your volunteer assignment. If you have to be late or miss a day, call ahead to let your supervisor know.
Dress Appropriately for Your Job
Summer volunteer jobs vary in their clothing requirements. Before you start, ask your supervisor what you should wear. Office jobs need different types of clothing than outdoor jobs. You'll dress differently for an active assignment than for a day at a desk. Keep in mind that you may need different clothes for different parts of your summer volunteer work. Always dress neatly. Remember, you represent the organization.
Be Helpful and Cheerful
Summer volunteer work can be hard, and you may feel tired and cranky some days. Try to stay positive and cheerful when you're on the job. The people you help will value your friendly face and caring attitude. Sometimes, a smile is all it takes to make the world a better place.
If you don't understand what you're supposed to be doing, ask for help. Don't be embarrassed if you need advice. It's more important to do things correctly by getting help from others.
Summer volunteer work is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. Work hard, but have fun while you're doing it. Your great attitude about your work will help other people see how important your charity is.